'Dangerous' Military Build-Up in Ethiopia's Mekelle

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has repeated an ultimatum to Tigray forces to step down or face heavy fire from federal forces outside the region's capital Mekelle. Abiy has given them 72 hours to do so, which ends on Wednesday. Meanwhile, United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has said that "the highly aggressive rhetoric on both sides regarding the fight for Mekelle is dangerously provocative and risks placing already vulnerable and frightened civilians in grave danger". Responding to allegations that the Tigray forces are stationing themselves among civilians, Bachelet said that under international law, parties to a conflict should take all possible measures to protect the civilian population under their control from the effects of attacks. In addition, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has issued a statement accusing Tigray youth of atrocities that could amount to war crimes. A near-total information blackout in the region persists since the conflict began 3 weeks ago and journalists in the country have come under increasing pressure.

InFocus

Ethiopian soldiers at a military parade in Tigray (file image).

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